Sometimes helping loved ones grow up is painful.

When eagles teach their young to fly it seems awful. Eagles teach their newborn eaglets to fly by scaring them to death. First theyeagles remove all the soft feathers and cushie stuff from the nest. All that’s left are the prickly sticks and twigs to nest in for awhile.

Then, when it’s time to fly, the eagle grabs the eaglet and soars high overhead and drops it. At the last minute the eagle swoops down to rescue the eaglet so it doesn’t crash. The eagle repeats this scary process until the young eaglet learns to fly on its own.

Sometimes we gotta do the same thing to people we love and care for.  James Dobson calls it tough love. I call it kicking the chick out of the nest.

It’s the last straw. It’s painful. It hurts. You’ve swooped down just before they crash time and time again– until . . .patience and sanity run out at the same time. Rescues are over. It’s time they learned to fly.

One of two things usually happens. 1) They flounder, then crash and burn; or 2) they flounder, and flounder some more until they pick themselves up off the ground and learn to fly. Is it the majestic flight of a bald eagle? No. But it’s flight on their terms, sometimes in their own feeble way.

I’ve watched the babies flail and flap their wings and wind up in the ditch. I’ve seen them struggle and fall, but they get up and find their way in life. The ones who wind up in the ditch spend their lives blaming everyone else for their miserable lives. The ones who find their way one day thank you for kicking them out of the nest. They may even tell you it was the best thing that ever happened to them.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not grow weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

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5 thoughts on “Sometimes helping loved ones grow up is painful.

  1. Excellent post, Steven! Last semester, my freshman son became ill with the flu followed by several secondary infections. It was a month of trouble for him. He attends college out of state; and for the first time in his life he was forced to manage an illness on his own. All I could do was provide encouragement and a bit of advice (i.e., go to the doctor). He got through it all and still managed to make Dean’s List.

    It is not fun to be the parent in that situation, but he grew up a lot and learned to handle some real adversity.

    Liked by 1 person

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